Area(s) of Study
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Why did you want to conduct undergraduate research?
I wanted to partake in the Lake Forest College – Rosalind Franklin University of Medical Science program to obtain research experience after a long year away from the labs due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is endowed with better research equipment and technologies; thus, I saw this as an opportunity to explore the realm of competitive research in a different environment. I expected the research to serve as a fantastic platform to experience the lifestyle of professional researchers and to network with them.
What research did you conduct at Rosalind Franklin University and why is it important?
I worked in Dr. Kaplna's lab. We investigated the influx of extracellular citrate through the Plasma Membrane Citrate Transporter (PMCT) into the cytoplasm. Citrate is an important intermediary molecule in fatty acid synthesis and glucose metabolism. Thus, we tested a potential inhibitor on the PMCT to regulate the intake of extracellular citrate into the cytoplasm. This is important in furthering our understanding of citrate-related metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.
How has this research helped you grow intellectually and personally?
My experience exposed me to a diverse array of research techniques and technologies. For instance: I had the chance to work with radioactive compounds; perform transfections on HEK293T cells; use a scintillation counter among other techniques and technologies. In addition, I worked collaboratively with other research labs and this experience allowed me to utilize skills I had learned from my classes in Lake Forest College.
How has it helped you to strengthen and/or refine your career goal and what is your professional path ahead?
I have a more refined vision of my career path ahead. I hope to pursue a career in pharmaceutical research, and I believe this research experience increased my desire to continue in that trajectory.
Would you encourage others to do undergraduate research? Why?
I would most definitely encourage others to partake in undergraduate research as it offers you a close-up and in-depth understanding of what goes into planning and executing a research project. Additionally, it serves as a great opportunity to network and meet professionals in the professional world.